FastTracker 2 is a tracker created by Fredrik "Mr. H" Huss and Magnus "Vogue" Högdahl, two members of the demogroup Triton (who later founded Starbreeze Studios) which set about releasing their own tracker after breaking into the scene in 1992 and winning several demo competitions. The source code of FastTracker 2 is written in Pascal using Borland Pascal 7 and TASM. The program works natively under MS-DOS.
In 1993, Triton released FastTracker. This tracker was able to load and save standard four channel MOD files, as well as extended MOD files with six or eight channels (identical to standard MOD files, aside from the extra channel data and ID markers "6CHN" or "8CHN"). It was only compatible with Creative Labs' SoundBlaster series of sound cards, which were most popular on the PC at that time. The whole editor was a single 43 KiB DOS executable.
Through 1994, the musicians in Triton released some songs in a new multichannel "XM" format, accompanied by a pre-release, standalone player. In November 1994, FastTracker 2 was released to the public, with support for the Gravis Ultrasound soundcard.
FT2's biggest "rivals" in the scene were Scream Tracker and, in later years, Impulse Tracker. "FT2 vs IT" is a common and still ongoing debate among musicians, usually involving IT users complaining about FT2's mouse interface while FT2 users commending the very same, and pointing out that every mouse feature has a keyboard shortcut as well.
FastTracker 2 was discontinued after the release of version 2.08 in August 1997, though a beta version of 2.09 was leaked to the public in 1999. Version 2.09 was only an unofficial bugfix by Andreas Viklund. The bugfix also has a few new usability additions, such as the possibility to exit previously "stuck" windows by only using the mouse. Version 2.09 does not have full support for the Gravis Ultrasound card, and it was not an official release although it was available from Starbreeze's website.
On May 23, 1999, Starbreeze productions announced on their website that "FT2 has been put on hold indefinitely. [...] If this was an ideal world, where there was infinite time and no need to make a living, there would definitely be a multiplatform Fasttracker3. Unfortunately this world is nothing like that," signed by Vogue.
Computer games by Epic Games like Unreal and Unreal Tournament or Ion Storms Deus Ex used the Fast Tracker II XM format additionally to others, encapsulated in a "UMX" Container, supported by the Galaxy Sound Engine.